Skip to main content

To Market, To Market (Part I)

Movies Preview

To Market, To Market (Part I)

Publication date 1942
Digitizing sponsor General Outdoor Advertising Company
Proliferation of outdoor advertising billboards through Chicago and the methods of analyzing potential advertising sites. This part explains the strategy behind the placement of outdoor media.


This shot list relates only to the color sequence that ends the film.

LS 2 people walking down street, they get into car, car drives away
CU 2 billboards side by side - MONARCH BEER & STAR (?) Camera pans to road full of moving cars
Camera pans toward billboard- SUNKIST, A BIG GLASS DAILY and then 2 more billboards of SCHLITZ BEER & WRIGLEY GUM Camera pans quickly to highway, then boulevard.
Camera pans billboards - HEINZ, Frozen Foods awning, RICE KRISPIES, SWAN, DREWRY'S

VS BUSES AND TROLLEYS: Greyhound, City Buses, Trolley
Camera pans with moving red bus as it passes billboards - 7UP
People at train platform, VS moving trains

MLS Man walking down street
MLS Old A&P Food Store Front
Ext. night: MLS Movie Theatre Marquee - PARADISE 2 Hits Daily; camera pans to billboard: IT'S SHOWTIME (advertising the Balaban and Katz theater chain)
MCU Neon BOWLING sign, camera pans to billboard of RICHELIEU foods
Billboard MARVELS cigarettes : Billboard HEINZ ketchup
Man putting gas in car, in background billboard for

Camera pans up to OLD COLONY billboard
Aerial shot of people walking in front of bldg.
Billboard 7-UP, HELLMANN'S mayonnaise
MCU Men putting up last strips of HELLMANN'S mayonnaise poster panel
MCU green bus passing by 2 posters

MCU man standing in front of SCHLITZ billboard
MLS man standing at street curb as cars whiz by
B'boards - CADILLAC,
VS men putting up new billboard
Camera pans to busy road, b'board
Trolley car rides by in front of billboard.
Crowded city sidewalk, many pedestrians

"THE END" billboard is being pasted up; this functions as the end title of the film and says "A Jam Handy Picture"

KS sez: The last reel of this film is its high point, as the stock changes from b&w to color (much as in Looking Ahead Through Rohm & Haas Plexiglas) and we are taken on a whirlwind tour of wartime Chicago billboards. These "scientifically placed poster panels" are "strategic power plants designed to generate consumer acceptance for American industrial products." Billboard after billboard of forgotten products -- such as Trek detergent and Old Colony whiskey ("products necessary to daily living") -- are shown in their natural streetside surroundings. The narrator refers to children as "potential consumers" (see Education Is Good Business) but the youngsters don't seem to pay any more attention to the billboards than their munition-factory-bound parents. 1942 was not a good year to be hawking consumer goods.
worth noting: Good shot of a Sunkist billboard in Chicago. It stands by tall row houses in what looks like a working class neighborhood.
The camera moves towards it quickly. (6:31:21:25- 6:31:25:21)

worth noting: The camera focuses on two billboards lying next to each other, the first a Schlitz as and the second Wrigley's chewing gum. The billboards look as though they are located in poorer neighborhoods-? (we see tall apartment buildings behind them), and placed "strategically" for the cars driving on the larger streets of Chicago to better neighborhoods (?). The camera swings from the billboards to the traffic moving along the "Outer Drive."
(6:31:25:22- 6:31:32:15)

¥ 6:31:32:19- 6:31:45:12
Series of shots of cars going by billboards in various areas of Chicago. First we view cars moving down "the pleasant boulevards to the suburban neighborhoods." They pass by a billboard with a pie on it. Next cars go through an "immense industrial center" where they pass a Heinz Ketchup billboard. Finally, we see people walking by a Rice Crispies and a Swan billboard in a busy market area.

¥ 6:32:00:12- 6:32:11:14
Two good imagesÑfirst is a street car moving along a Chicago boulevard. Behind it is a very large Reebie (?) billboard which stands in front of a tall building, and they pass two more billboards one of which is for Piper's Donuts. Cut to a red bus moving along a busy road (not downtownÑlooks like it's leading to suburbs) by a 7-UP billboard and what looks like a hot dog billboard.

¥ 6:32:27:13- 6:32:39:27
First the camera holds on a colorful Del Monte billboard (or as the narrator says, "poster panel"). It then swings to the left to show two women walking along the sidewalk with a baby carriage, cars driving by, and finally shoppers walking along the other side of the road (which is busy and lined with shops).

¥ 6:33:11:00- 6:33:23:11
Very interesting shot of factory workers leaving for the day and walking out into an industrial neighborhood in Chicago. The camera moves from the crowd of men to the two billboards "strategically" (more like shamelessly) located directly outside their workplace. One is for Old Colony (beer-?) and the other is for Budweiser. Obvious targetÑbeer and blue collar workers.

¥ 6:33:23:12- 6:33:36:19
More obvious targets. First we have an overview of school children and mothers leaving school for the day. Cut to many of them waiting at a corner to cross. Behind them is a 7-UP ad with cartoons of children on it. The narrator shamelessly describes these "potential consumers." Several children on the corner glance briefly at the camera.

¥ 6:34:44:18- 6:35:04:12
Nice image of a busy Chicago street. Natty dressers (women in furs and men in hats) quickly walk by the camera. Out of the dozens of people walking by, there is one African-American woman who is
looking down as she walks.

BILLBOARDS OUTDOOR ADVERTISING CHICAGO STREETS ILLINOIS AUTOMOBILES TRANSPORTATION STREETCARS TROLLEYS SIGNS Outdoor advertising Advertising (outdoor) Advertising (1940s) Billboards Chicago (1940s) Chicago (history and culture) Streets (Chicago) Chicago (streets) Graphic design Businessmen (getting into auto) Traffic Boulevards (Chicago) Highways (Chicago) Streets (Chicago) Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Ill. Neighborhoods (Chicago) Housing (Chicago) Apartments (Chicago) Heinz ketchup (billboards) Kellogg's Rice Krispies (billboards) Swan (billboards) Drewry's (billboards) Piper's Donuts (billboards) Seven-Up (billboards) Beverages (billboards) Food (billboards) Cigarette advertising Cigarettes (billboards) Camel cigarettes (billboards) Transportation Mass transit (Chicago, 1940s) Automobiles (1940s) Buses Trolleys Streetcars Subways Railroads (elevated) Buildings (Chicago, 1940s) Commuters Railroads (passenger, platforms) Jemima, Aunt Racial stereotypes African Americans (depiction in the media) Pancakes (billboards) Aunt Jemima (billboards) Del Monte (billboards) Swift's Premium (billboards) Diamond Walnut (billboards) Good Luck margarine (billboards) Richelieu Theater (billboards) Balaban and Katz Theaters (billboards) Motion picture theaters Signs (advertising) Signs (night) Marvels cigarettes (billboards) Trek (billboards) Old Colony (billboards) Budweiser beer (billboards) Hellmann's mayonnaise (billboards) Coca-Cola (billboards) Schlitz beer (billboards) Window shopping Shopping (window) Stores Baby carriages Bowling alleys (signs) Signs (bowling alleys) Gasoline stations Gas pumps Workers (leaving work) Children (waiting for bus) Billboards (pasting up posters) Handy (Jam) Organization (billboards) General Outdoor Advertising (sponsor) Counting Title cards ("The End")


Reviewer: doowopbob - favorite - March 15, 2010
Subject: ....Ehh...
....Billboards Have Always Been A Blight On The American Landscape..."I Won't Like 'Em..To The Grave. Billboards Suck..Burma Shave"..!..
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - July 21, 2005
Subject: Bill's bored?
OK overview about billboards in "upper middle class neighborhoods and higher density neighborhoods" this shill tells why and how to advertise on billboards, and gives us lots and lots of examples of these as an overview. Actually, this is alright as we see some products advertised in a way that you don't see anymore, also, loved the plaster and paper method of putting these up! That was great. The 2nd part goes all color on us to show what these ads look like in color, as if we were not entirely convinced, that the color sequences would be the nail in the coffin for us. All in all, so so.
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2002
Subject: To Market, to Market
General Outdoor Advertising sponsored this film designed to sell billboard advertising. We see billboard after billboard while the narrator extols the virtues of "scientific placement", which mostly seems to involve putting billboards everywhere. It gets a bit creepy after awhile as all people are seen as "customers" to be manipulated. It's fun to see all the billboards, thoughÂÂthis was made in the 1940's, before photography was used much on billboards, so it's an interesting document of advertising art and graphics of the period.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on Chicago Televsion (untitled), and Lifestyles USA, Vol. 1 ("Billboards USA").
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 10,931
favorite 26
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 17,715
favorite 44
comment 6
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 6 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 23,057
favorite 72
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 3,501
favorite 4
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 35,365
favorite 126
comment 11
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 11 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 9,502
favorite 21
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 14,017
favorite 24
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 75,114
favorite 138
comment 14
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 14 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 37,097
favorite 22
comment 5
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 5 reviews )
Prelinger Archives
by Handy (Jam) Organization
eye 19,636
favorite 30
comment 3
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 3 reviews )